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richmond district poets, david [speaker not understood] and poetry teacher and poet susan [speaker not understood], i wanted to first introduce our first honored guest, alejandro [speaker not understood], he's the sixth poet laureate for the city and county of san francisco. and can alejandro come forward? there he is. (applause) >> i wanted to first say he's a unique artist and community person. he follows in the footsteps of our first poet laureate, learn serangeti in '98, [speaker not understood] in 2000, deborah major in 2002, jack cushman in 2006, and dianne de prima in 2009. and he moved to san francisco in the early '70s from los angeles, but really has become embedded in the mission
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district. and i know that supervisor campos is going to make a couple of remarks in a moment. alejandro, i know, is a great teacher at san francisco state where i taught many years. his students see him as a mission visionary. he's also someone that works collectively with other poets. i pulled this off my shelf, alejandro from 1975 from third world communications with the intro by maya angelou. [speaker not understood]. you were an early leader in bringing together communities. i also wanted to say that as you were honored at [speaker not understood] in july, i was very proud to be there with many san francisco state people, some from the third world strike, some that came after. it was just an honor to be
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there with you as mayor ed lee and the whole arts establishment kind of acknowledged you as our poet laureate. and i know at that ceremony you also said that you expect to see 11 of us here to at some point at roll call really follow-up roll call with a haiku at each of our weekly meetings. and i look forward to doing workshops. i know that you're encouraging all of us to really develop our artistic side as well, but i really appreciate that. you also said that you're not sure how many politicians would go for a poetry lesson, but i think you have a lot of other ideas on how the arts community can enrich kind of those of us that make political decisions in the city as well. and the last thing that i really respected was that you said that you're not deceived by the honor for you as an individual, but that you always accepted it on behalf of your community. i know you're a founder of the mission cultural center and there's a whole bunch of things i could say. but i just appreciate that you're saying this is kind of not just you, but it's also the
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whole mission district and the whole latino and chicano community as well. so, could you come up? and i wanted to know, supervisor campos, wanted to say anything else. -- say anything as well. (applause) >> supervisor campos . >> first of all, i'd like to thank supervisor ed mar, colleague of mine, we went to san francisco state together, for this honor this afternoon. i accept these honors, not for myself, it's not for me, it's my community. not just my community. the mission district, latinos, the whole southern part of the city that often gets neglected when we think about art, when we think about literature and part of my community, of course, is the literary community of san francisco with its great literary traditions. and if i may follow-up on a couple of things that supervisor mar said, i'd like
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it to be a tradition, but now on the port laureate addresses the supervisor to tell us of the plans. let me briefly tell you some of the plans i would like your support for in the coming two-year. one, a poetry festival for our young students 13 years and under because as we see, in the violence prevalent throughout our communities, i hope that through literacy and art we can perhaps change the direction of some of that violence and also hopefully two years from now we will have an international poetry festival with san francisco and its sister city of barcelona where we can unite these two cities. i would like very much to see poetry workshops, for example, in the police department and in the fire department and perhaps in a tax collector's office, and also in the board of supervisors. why not, right? if poetry is the best word in
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the best place, who else to practice poetry but our elected leaders? and also as a sort of very gentle challenge to all of you -- because we are such a highly literate society and community here in the bay area, and we are very widely read -- i'm going to ask you, when you get a chance on your website, to post your reading list. let us see into your hearts. let us see into where you get your ideas. let us see that you are, in fact, considering the entire range of voices and language and cultures that our community, our city is made up so that we can also dialogue with you about what you're reading, what we are reading. perhaps then we can establish a good dialogue between yourselves and ourselves. and i want to thank you again for the honors on behalf of my community, which is also the
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literary community and encourage you to support the literacy program, the reading programs, the poetry programs. try a haiku before your next board meeting. it might help smooth things out. thank you very much. (applause) >> i know supervisor campos had a few words he'd like to say. >> thank you. alejandro. mr. president, i just wanted to say something as the representative for district 9 which includes the mission. i think that i was not alone. i know that just about every resident of the mission applauded mayor lee when he selected alejandro as the support laureate for the city and county of san francisco. he has been a fixture in the mission for more than four decades, truly. and it is such a great source
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of pride for our community to have someone from the mission, from that neighborhood representing san francisco in this very important role. and i think it serves as inspiration for so many young people, especially as we're facing some of these tough times and some of the violence that's happening in the neighborhood. the fact that you have poetry that can be a way that, that young people can express themselves and, you know, i just saw alejandro the other day and he immediately handed me a poem. and i think that we need to do more of that. and, so, i am very proud as the supervisor for district 9 to have alejandro in this role and i want to thank you on behalf of my community, our community for everything that you do and what you represent. we're very proud of you. >> thank you. (applause) >> and, colleagues, i also wanted to say that the richmond district has many poets, from the little ones that are in
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elementary school that do the poem in your pocket day every year with many of us, to great poets that we're going to acknowledge today. the friends of the library has run this program called poets 11 for -- it's the fourth year this year. and the city-wide poetry contest and reading series that collects poems from every single neighborhood in san francisco and if tee tours poetry readings at the branch libraries in each of our city's district. and i'm just very proud that we have two of our kind of acknowledged poets from district 1, the richmond district today, susan terrance and david volpendesta. i'll say first that susan terrence teaches and has taught for many years through the california poets in schools high schools like lowell, francis scott key elementary, and new traditions elementary school. she's currently using a
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baseball poetry through a graph on the san francisco giants community fund that is really creative, and i'm sure it excites the kids especially around world series time. and she's lived in the richmond district for 16 years. and i'll also call up david volpendesta. he's an author of four books of poetry, also richmond district resident. his translations have appeared in vulcan and a number of journals as well as tomorrow triumphant and clamor of innocence which he co-edited with [speaker not understood]. he also coed ted homeless not helpless, an advocate for many of our special [speaker not understood] groups. i wanted to say the third poet from the richmond, christopher could not be here with us, but we're really honored that david and susan are here with us. could you please come forward with alejandro as well? susan and david, please give us
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some thoughts as well. (applause) >> as they are coming up to the microphone, i want to acknowledge supervisor avalos for a moment. >> i just want to concur with my colleagues. and they're ex tolling our poet laureate alejandro. i was hoping they would share with us a poem. i can't think of how you want want to miss this opportunity. you brought a poet out of [speaker not understood] which was actually very interesting. so, please come forward and share it with us. i didn't bring a poem. oh, please, thank you, thank you. and i want to second what alejandro said about stressing the importance of arts in the schools.
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every time, when we introduce any subject about immigration, about family's lives, about what's happening in the world, especially right now in the world of baseball, it's exciting to everyone. but students love to write. they need to be able to express themselves. so, just -- in everything, consider every possible way you can support the arts. it ties together community in the same way sports teams do it. it makes everybody feel like they're alive and alive with everyone else. so, anyway, so, thank you. and thank you for having the district 11s contest. folk are coming to the richmond library and realize that even in our inner richmond, a bit of activist. woo! and everybody was still awake at 9:00 p.m. in the inner richmond. wow. any ways, so, thank you very much. [laughter] (applause) one of the things that i'm
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often asked is, what is poetry? and poetry is just a crust of bread with a soul for the body. you know, in san francisco we feed the homeless and we feed the hungry and we do a pretty good job of it. poetry feeds the body and it feeds the soul. it feeds the whole person and that's really what poetry does and that's why it's really wonderful of you to honor it. and i want to thank all of you very much. and that's all. i have a brief poem if you would like to hear a poem. this is called "hunger forever."
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come to the banquet no one can tell you where it began no one knows where it's been held and how it started. you only need to be rich to gain entrance. of course, we would [speaker not understood] democracy and decorate it with beautiful images as if it were poetry wrapped in sentiment and beautiful words. money won't be mentioned. of course, it will have value, but we'll be subtle. naturally we'll avoid [speaker not understood] and other forms of criticism. we'll pretend poetry -- we will pretend people are having a great time. naurally [speaker not understood], nothing they want, living in a world of abundance
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with briming smiles and plenty of comradeship and slapped on the back as the music plays on. * as everyone changes faces, when the facial muscles lose their elasticity, turn, tighten, begin to turn to powder and the rotten teeth turn yellow and the money turns to moldy green and the skeltons turn to dust who were these people who left our legacy? the same ones they inherited? the same people who went by the name of the rich? thank you very much. (applause)
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>> and, david is one of my [speaker not understood] colleagues on the literacy. so, supervisor avalos is asking to read a poem. i have a poem. i'll handout a few more. i'll do this one. it's called, my signature poem the last few years. it starts off by naming three poets of this neighborhood and i'm talking about 16th and valencia. i saw jack michelin on the corner of 16th and valencia reciting skinny dynamite and he was angry. and the next day he was dead on the last bart train to concord and maybe that's why he was angry
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i met harold norse [speaker not understood] in a beaten world. a poem only hipsters read. [speaker not understood] he sighed before returning to his room in the abby on hotel where angels honeycomb the walls with dreams and the rent is paid with angry poems. i heard oscar [speaker not understood] brown buffalo footsteps pounding of valencia corridor and he was shouting poetry [speaker not understood] junkies nodding in their wasted [speaker not understood] in the hotel royale, the mission's finest. and even the furniture was angry. and i tell the waiters at the bus stop, the waitresses, the flower sellers, the blind guitarist [speaker not understood] at a purple sky, the shirtless vagrant vagabond
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ranting at a parking meter, the spray paint visionary setting fire to the word. and i knew this was the last call. we were tired of living from the scraps of others. we were tired of dying for our own chunk of nothing. and i saw this barrio, this city as a freight train. a crazy mexican bus careening out of control, a mutiny aboard the battle ship, and every port hole filled with anger. and we were going to stay angry. and we were not leaving, not ever leaving el corazon [speaker not understood] of the mission. the [speaker not understood]
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ends here. (applause) >> and i just want to point out that only san francisco do poets get invited to come to the legislative center. thank you, thank you, thank you. (applause) [inaudible]. (applause) >> thank you, supervisor mar. thank you for the poetry.
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i would like to acknowledge our next colleague who has several commendations for this afternoon, supervisor olague. >> is it by coincidence that everything happens this week. we have two commendations now and we'll have one when we offer the mental health commendation. so, that's coming a little bit later. but i will start out with acknowledging coreen mayfield. this past weekend has been amazing for the world of professional sports here in san francisco. world champions in baseball and a convincing division in football on national television have put san francisco in the limelight for being a world class city with world champions, caliber athletics. also in the world stage, coreen mayfield, an unbeaten boxer from district 5, was shining on
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hbo against maurico herrera, winning a 10 round unanimous decision and in the process defending his north america boxing organization junior welter weight title in the process for the second time. outside of the ring he volunteers his time with a number of youth outreach programs, coaching and mentoring youth to lead positive lives. he is a local celebrity, not only for his talents as an athlete, but also for his commitment to lifting up the young people of san francisco through sports and discipline. in 2003, having put the street life behind him, this young man walked into a gym and four years later became a professional boxer. what an amazing story. (applause) [cheering and applauding]
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>> he has truly overcome the odds and utilized his talents to help inspire others. it is with great honor that as district 5 supervisor today, we honor and recognize the accomplishments of the western addition's very own karim mayfield. >> thank you, thank you. (applause) thank you, christina. i want to say, you actually said i grew up in western addition all my life. been around, i was one of the
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mischievous. i'm in the street, talking to the youth, letting them know whatever they put their mind to do they can do it. if they're not going to become champions in the boxing ring, they can become champions in life overall. i just want to say i'm happy to receive this award and thank you, christina. (applause) is that your body guard? [laughter] [speaker not understood]. [laughter] (applause) (applause)
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>> and my next honor is for linda avery herbert who i worked with for 7-1/2 years at the planning commission. she mentored me and she mentored so many other people in this city. serving on the planning commission is not a very easy task. it's like hours and hours of work. we sit in meetings for 10 hours or more. and linda was my mentor for a long time. she was my guide. and without her, i don't think i could have gotten through those meetings or served the city in the manner that i was able to. with your example, you always have such an incredible amount of grace and [speaker not
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understood]. i don't know what else to say other than i'm really grateful to be here today, to be able to honor you. i know you're retiring i think at the end of this week is it? >> tomorrow. >> tomorrow, wow. (applause) >> so, i don't know if any of you know linda avery herbert. she's incredible. if linda could stand up. [cheering and applauding] >> thank you. thank you, supervisor olague. it's a pleasure to be able to say that. i was so enthusiastic about you being a supervisor and i'm so proud of you. but it has been my rare pleasure to serve the citizens of san francisco in my role and i'm going to cry again, as commission secretary. the honor has been all mine. thank you. [cheering and applauding]
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>> today is actually -- i forgot to mention. we're still waiting for the official vote. today is actually we're declaring october 30th, 2012 as linda avery-herbert day in the city and county of san francisco. [cheering and applauding]
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>> thank you very much, supervisor. ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to kickoff a set of commendations that each of our colleagues will be presenting. in commemoration of the fact that this month and october, it is mental health appreciation month. i know this week we have been celebrating our san francisco giants, but we also wanted to take a moment and really celebrate the giants among you who have been truly stepping up and taking care of our residents in san francisco who need mental health and mental health services. so, without further ado, i'd like to first start, and i think today we'll go in alphabetical order and start with supervisor avalos. but also i wanted to take a moment and see if supervisor cohen who had suggested that we have today's ceremony, if you had any opening comments you'd like to make. >> wow, thank you. it's good to see you all. hello, san francisco. how are you today? [cheering and applauding]
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>> i'm so excited to be here because today is actually the first time this chamber has had an opportunity to recognize, like supervisor chiu said, the giants that are on my list, our mental health community. so, it's a pleasure to work with the mental health board and the department of health to kickoff today. i don't want to belabor the issue. i have two giants i'm excited to be introducing today. so, without further ado, supervisor chiu, please, let's begin. thank you. >> let's start with, begin the alphabet, supervisor avalos. >> thank you, president chiu. i'd like to call up to the podium inez bettencourt. (applause)
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>> inez is an excelsior district resident. she's also a program director at the southeast child and family therapy center which is actually part of the southeast health care center on silver avenue. but she's also working in the mission district on mission street. and she fought hard to maintain a center that is on mission street. but we weren't able to maintain it. i know you were a strong advocate for making sure that we can have those services serving especially [speaker not understood] children and families, children youth and families in the excelier district. your work does continue at the southeast clinic and i want to thank you for all your great work in san francisco. not only are you involved with your regular clinical work at the center, you're also doing a lot of community work in san francisco. i think it's really about your vision for what mental health is really all about. it's not just an individual, but it's the context, it's the society, it's the community that we live in.
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i was looking at your resume today. i was impressed. we're just going back 25 years to your work in el salvador working with refugees and understanding what the connection is between people who are living here, who have immigrated here from central mark, to their experiences here and experiences there and how they affect -- what their emotions are like, what mental health is like and you address all of that in your work. i just want to say congratulations and thank you so much on behalf of the board of supervisors for your work in this city. i know you have many more years to give and you started very, very young in your life's work. so, i congratulate you and offer you our commendation for your work over the years in this city. thank you very much. >> thank you. (applause) thank you very much. and as john said, i do believe